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Get Your CRM Ready for Some Good News
March 1, 2021
There is budding optimism about the future. COVID-19 cases and deaths are in decline, financial indicators are decent and trending up, and forecasters are predicting a booming economy. This involves a lot of buying and selling at both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer ends of the spectrum. So now might be a very good time to take inventory on plant, equipment and employees through the lens of CRM.
Misunderstood Loyalty
January 22, 2021
Both marketing and loyalty had delayed starts in the CRM world, and both exhibited traits of confusion among those charged with their rollouts; strongly evidenced by a lack of specificity in the early applications that carried their badges. Loyalty is back in the spotlight now; as multiple vendors have entered the loyalty market as both startups and established businesses take a swing at the ball.
Conversational Platform Trends for 2021
January 19, 2021
Live chat and conversational platform technologies have made significant advancements in recent years. Thanks to AI and machine learning, these implementations have gone beyond just being a customer support tool, to a crucial component of an e-commerce revenue engine. Here's what retailers need to know to get maximum conversions and satisfied customers from live chat tools in 2021 and beyond.
The Great CRM Shift of 2020
November 19, 2020
It is often said that only a poor workman blames his tools and only an inferior vendor blames the customer for their troubles with a product. But too many user organizations just don't seem to be adopting CRM to the degree that it takes to be successful -- even after more than two decades of trying.
How to Continue Winning Business During a Pandemic
November 9, 2020
Today, change feels more common than stability. On top of all the uncertainty, sales professionals face increased demands while rebuilding the pipeline. Yet it's clear that there is still business to be won. But first we must assess the new realities this pandemic has brought on. Here are five ways the sales world has changed and what teams can do to adapt and prosper.
Chat Commerce Driving Higher Revenue, Better CX
November 6, 2020
More consumers are shopping via phones and other mobile devices, and companies that use chat with commerce are reaping rewards while improving the customer experience. New commerce research reveals that at least two-thirds of firms using chat apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat see greater commerce gains than competitors that do not.
Retailers to Consumers: Let's Get 'Phygital'
August 20, 2020
The pandemic has exposed one fundamental, seemingly contradictory reality: people like to shop online, but they also crave in-person experiences. This era has also made clear that there's an answer to this conundrum: to provide shopping experiences that combine both physical and digital elements. Also known as "phygital" experiences, these strive to give customers the best of both the online and in-person worlds.
Refocus Your Sales Strategy on the Phone Call
July 20, 2020
Getting a prospect on the line and talking to them directly matters. It's the ability to deliver the pitch with the right content, cadence, and care for your future clients' needs that makes a voice call so effective. It's not just salespeople who prefer a call -- 92 percent of all customer interactions happen over the phone. Simply put, that direct human connection creates the right environment to establish trust.
The Trail to the Platform
July 1, 2020
Some years ago, Marc Benioff told me he was not interested in developing back office apps that would compete with SAP and Oracle in the ERP and finance market. Many people, myself included, looked askance at that idea and wondered out loud how the company would continue to grow because, hey, there's front office and back office and nothing else right? Nope.
Let's Rethink Our Relationship With CRM
June 24, 2020
If you search for "why CRM fails" you get over three million results. Analysts report that close to half of all CRM projects fail and about 40 percent of CRM software purchased goes unused -- because sales teams don't want to use software that makes them glorified data entry clerks and still doesn't "work." As a CRM industry veteran, this ongoing failure rate hits close to home, and in my experience is much higher.
How Will Retailers Survive This Time of Crisis?
June 9, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic will be one of the defining events of our lifetime. The economic consequences will last years and forever change consumer behavior. Over the last 30 years, experts have been studying the slow burn of consumer adoption of new technologies. Never have we witnessed adoption rates accelerate to the degree we saw in the last 60 days in e-commerce and video-conferencing.
New Group Aims to Help Bridge E-Commerce Digital Divide
June 2, 2020
The United States Business Association of E-Commerce is poised to open for business. Its mission is to help small and mid-sized enterprises, as well as minority- and veteran-owned startups, to bridge the e-commerce digital divide. The B2B marketplace platform will connect small and medium-sized firms to domestic and global buyers. The USBAEC bills itself as a disruptive business ecosystem.
How to Create Valuable Customer Conversations
May 28, 2020
A pandemic, economic uncertainty and social distancing -- what a kerfuffle we are in. As marketing leaders, it's an incredibly difficult time to direct our teams. Yet, while we're all figuring out how to juggle emotions, families, dogs, toilet paper shortages, and a calendar full of conference calls, the revenue team has to press on in building pipeline and establishing predictable growth.
How to Adapt Your Customer Service When Crisis Strikes
May 8, 2020
Customer service doesn't have to suffer while your company goes through a difficult transition. In fact, 78 percent of consumers said they stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service. Now is the time to show your most valuable buyers how you'll keep them informed, updated and respected throughout this crisis by adapting your practices to the moment.
Merchants Now Can List Products on Google Shopping for Free
April 22, 2020
Merchants soon will be able to sell products on Google Shopping at no charge. Previously, they had to pay per click, but the cost was not fixed. There was no minimum, but they had to set a maximum for ad spend and Google would stop displaying their ads once the maximum was reached. Starting next week, search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free product listings.
E-Commerce Optimization During a Crisis and Beyond
April 17, 2020
In this uncertain and increasingly homebound era, customers are turning online for everything from groceries to cat food. It's more important than ever to make sure that websites are optimized for the highest-possible customer engagement and conversion. E-commerce optimization is one game that companies struggling for market share in the midst of a pandemic must play.
A 6-Point Plan to Leapfrog to CX Leadership
April 8, 2020
Customer experience as a boardroom topic is more relevant than ever. Enterprises are investing significant digital transformation budgets and commissioning large projects to elevate CX. Yet more than 70 percent of digital transformation projects fail to move the needle at scale. One topic that has a substantial impact on CX is the transformation of customer service operations using digital tools.
Marketing on Amazon 101
March 23, 2020
More than 20 million individuals visit Amazon every month, making the platform the top e-commerce website in the U.S. Today's consumers don't use Amazon solely to make purchases -- they use the marketplace to check prices, discover new products, and research items they might want to buy. Amazon continues to dominate the shopping journey, and a reported 66 percent of consumers turn to Amazon first.
How AI Can Improve Customer Retention
March 21, 2020
Customer attrition and churn are not new problems. Anyone who has spent time in the sales world has heard statistics around the cost of acquiring a new customer. It can be five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. Improving customer retention by just 5 percent can increase profits by 25-95 percent, depending on your industry and company size.
4 Ways Intelligent CRM Can Help You Reach Tech-Savvy Millennials
March 18, 2020
Does your customer relationship management strategy have what it takes to reach Generation Y? It's estimated that by 2021, an additional $394 billion in revenue could be gained from artificial intelligence adoption in CRM activities in the U.S. As companies grow and technology evolves at a faster-than-ever pace, collecting, storing and providing data is becoming a bigger and bigger task.
Amazon Buckles Under Stress of Staple-Hoarding
March 17, 2020
Shopping hysteria in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is crippling Amazon's ability to fill online orders and meet timely delivery promises. The company plans to increase pay in the U.S., UK and Europe for employees engaged in fulfillment operations, as well as open 100,000 new full and part-time positions to meet the surge in demand. Amazon has been was running out of household staples.
6 Signs You May Be Ready for a CRM Switch
March 14, 2020
In today's evolving business environment, every operational decision is critical -- and that includes best practices for managing the customer journey. The CRM platform is an integral part of the process. In fact, 91 percent of companies with more than 11 employees use a CRM system. Because of the time it saves and the structure CRM delivers, it can seem daunting for businesses to make a switch.
Why Retailers Need to Adopt Omnichannel Personalization
March 13, 2020
The sky starts to dump the first snow of the year. Looking down at your dress shoes, you make a mental note to order some sturdier winter boots. Later that day, you're comparing two boot brands on your laptop and get distracted -- no more online shopping at work. When you get home, you grab your tablet to continue browsing boots. Maybe you can find a recommendation on Twitter?
4 Sales Presentation Innovations That Keep Viewers on the Edge of Their Seats
March 11, 2020
People have been giving presentations for thousands of years, from Moses with his stone tablets to Elon Musk revealing his grand plans to colonize Mars. While the elements of a great pitchman generally have remained the same over the past 5,000 years -- conviction, charisma, credibility -- today's successful presenters do more than just get in front of an audience and talk.
4 Ways to Optimize Your Brand's Amazon Advertising
March 10, 2020
Way back in 1995, Amazon made its first-ever customer sale. Within two short months, Amazon was selling $20,000 per week in the U.S. and countries around the world. Today, Amazon has become the go-to marketplace for more than 310 million customers, and more than 54 percent of all product searches occur on Amazon. In other words, Amazon has replaced Google as the No. 1 search engine for products.
How Social Selling Changed the Buyer's Journey
February 27, 2020
Social selling has changed how online consumers are interacting with and buying from e-commerce businesses. Why? Because it's had a huge impact on the buyer's journey as a whole. Today, we live in a digital world, and this means the consumer has the upper hand, thanks to the growth in e-commerce and the Internet of Things. The modern buyer does more research up front and online.
Microsoft Injects New AI Features Into Dynamics 365
February 20, 2020
Microsoft has unveiled several new AI capabilities across Dynamics 365 applications and a new solution to help project-centric services organizations transform their operations. The AI enhancements include first- and third-party data connections in Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, Microsoft's customer data platform. The company also unveiled new manual and predictive forecasting capabilities.
Customer Retention Blooms Again
February 12, 2020
Brightback recently published a report on customer churn and what more than 400 subscription companies say they're doing about it. Its findings are in line with many other sources, and the data deserves an examination. First of all, we're way past the point where subscription companies can expect to sign all of the new customers they need to replace those that decide to end their relationships.
3 Ways to Build Positive Relationships with B2B Customers
February 4, 2020
For most businesses, meeting target sales goals and key revenue metrics are top priorities. While building positive relationships with customers is important, it isn't the easiest metric to quantify. For this reason, many companies end up ignoring the work it takes to build relationships with customers, and begin to focus on other, more easily-tracked metrics like deals closed and upsells.
Retention, Retention, Retention
January 25, 2020
It's hard to say with any specificity where the CRM market will move this year, but I'm a pundit so let me try anyway. After more than two decades, CRM has landed in the business landscape and spread out in impressive ways. When CRM emerged in the late 1990s social media didn't exist, and the idea of social networking was confined to a few papers from Harvard and other places.
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Digital River - Talk to the Experts
What do you think about artificial intelligence systems that can outperform humans?
They are revolutionary tools for solving problems facing humanity.
They won't change the world, but they have many practical, beneficial applications.
There's a danger that humans will lose control of AI and there will be grave consequences.
Some of their so-called big accomplishments, such as beating humans at games, are trivial and overhyped.
AI is one more reason to consider living completely off the grid.
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Digital River - Talk to the Experts